Diverse Economies and Liveable Worlds II: Manufacturing the Future, Grounds for Hope or time for Despair?

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Economic Geography Specialty Group, Cultural Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Napoleon A1, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Organizers: Stephen Healy
Chairs: Stephen Healy


This session has papers that explore both the future of manufacturing in Minority World countries (e.g. Australia, USA) and emerging economies (Philippines) as well as the role that organisational forms, cultural practices, and material know-how might play in helping to manufacture a different future—in particular futures where we are capable of responding ethically and powerfully to shared matters of concern (Gibson-Graham, Cameron, & Healy, 2013). The rationale for this topic is two-fold. One the one hand it would seem that we can locate the coordinates—of secondary sector and society as a whole—as a nexus of wicked-problems too numerous to fully describe. The combination of job-eliminating algorithms, artificial intelligence and automation threaten employment threaten existing employment opportunities while slowing global growth and taxation rates hamper the abilities of states to respond effectively. Various ecological challenges associated with climate change threaten to compound the consequences of global economic inequality. On the other hand, as Carr and Gibson (2016) illustrate, various making-practices come with tacit and explicit forms of know-how that may serve to animate creative solutions to economic, social and ecological challenges. Manufacturing is world making, and what that implies is at least the possibility that what exists might repurposed, rearranged, repaired or remade in a manner that allows us to survive. This potential is easy to overlook in Australia where manufacturing is represented as all but gone or in the United States where it is the object of nostalgia, a prop in a fantasy of a greatness lost.
• What future might we make with a repurposed manufacturing sector? What are the impediments and limits?
• What role might different organisational forms play in facilitating the emergence of a manufacturing sector capable of responding to wicked problems?
• How might a different configuration of making practice call for and depend upon a different relationship with the primary sector? With finance?

Carr, C., & Gibson, C. (2016). Geographies of making: Rethinking materials and skills for volatile futures. Progress in Human Geography, 40(3), 297-315.
Gibson-Graham, J. K., Cameron, J., & Healy, S. (2013). Take Back the Economy: An ethical guide for transforming our communities. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Chantel Carr*, School of Geography and Sustainable Communities, Locating valuable bodies in automated landscapes 20 10:00 AM
Presenter Stephen Healy*, University of Western Sydney, Institute for Culture and Society, Manufacturing the Commons: enterprise and commons solutions to social and ecological problems. 20 10:20 AM
Presenter Joanne McNeill*, Western Sydney University, Social enterprise and social procurement: Entry points for better economic futures 20 10:40 AM
Presenter Pryor Placino*, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, Embodied energy and entangled relations of concrete: aggregates production and informal mining as livelihood-making 20 11:00 AM
Discussant Katherine Gibson University of Western Sydney 20 11:20 AM

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